Obama Appoints Jeanne Skog to Presidential Scholars Commission
By Sonia Isotov
President Barack Obama recently announced the appointment of Jeanne Unemori Skog, President of Maui Economic Development Board, Inc. to the Commission on Presidential Scholars.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
The 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars include one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars appointed by the President selected the scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
Describing the appointees to the Commission, President Obama commented in a written statement saying, “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Jeanne Unemori Skog is currently President & CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc. (MEDB), a nonprofit economic development organization. Skog joined MEDB in 1984 and in 1999 was elected as the organization’s President & CEO. She initiated the development of MEDB’s Women in Technology program, and in 2006, she led the formation of the Ke Alahele Education Fund, which provides grants and counseling to educators and organizations for projects that enhance the teaching and delivery of STEM education. Ms. Skog serves as Chair of the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, and on the board of the Hawaii Council for Economic Education. Ms. Skog holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on secondary education from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Alongside Skog, Alapaki Nahale-a, Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, was also appointed to the Commission on Presidential Scholars.